Ryder Cup 2018: Friday fourballs pairings set to go
By Stephanie Wei under Ryder Cup


So much good shit happening in the above photo during the huge and long standing ovation that Tiger Woods received from the away crowd when introduced by Captain Jim Furyk in the Ryder Cup opening ceremony. The smirks on the American players’ faces. Paulina in the background with the flag. Phil’s flow.

Well, after an hour of pomp and circumstance, including state-of-the-union-like speeches, the pairings for the opening fourball matches have been announced. And I liked European Tour player Eddie Pepperell’s reaction best:

Yeah, pretty much. Eff yeah, America!

Oh yeah, the fourball matches Friday morning (all times local):

  1. 8:10am: Brooks Koepka/Tony Finau vs. Justin Rose/Jon Rahm
  2. 8:25am: Dustin Johnson/Rickie Fowler vs. Thorbjorn Oleson/Rory McIlroy
  3. 8:40am: Jordan Spieth/Justin Thomas vs. Paul Casey/Tyrell Hatton
  4. 8:55am: Tiger Woods/Patrick Reed vs. Francesco Molinari/Tommy Fleetwood

Um, like I said, what Eddie tweeted. OK, quick analysis of the matches:

  1.  American mighty bombers up against FedExCup winner and Spanish bulldog. This one is up for grabs; maybe slight advantage to Europe.
  2. Damn, this is SO good. I’ll be following this match if I manage to snag an elusive inside-ropes bib (ugh).
  3. Hell yeah, Spieth and JT are at it again! Hand the point to the USA.
  4. Fans at Le Golf National really LOVE Tiger Woods. I mean, I think they’re all rooting for him, and yeah, wow, the French fans love Tiger with passion. Pair that with the cheeky Patrick Reed and it’s going to be a fun show. Put up another point for USA.
  5. U.S. players sitting out the morning: Phil Mickelson, Bryson DeChambeau, Bubba Watson, Webb Simpson. Not surprised by the veterans and I guess Bryson’s stuck with Phil for a match at least, so…
  6. European players benched: Henrik Stenson, Ian Poulter, Sergio Garcia, Alex Noren. Nothing crazy, but I guess some people surprised that Mr. Ryder Cup (Poults) is not playing in the opening matches. Whatever, his energy will be felt, I’m sure.

I have the U.S. steamrolling Europe in the morning, which would be huge for momentum, especially on foreign soil and that whole 25-year curse for the Americans, etc. But it’s match play and you just NEVER know. I’m ready for the matches to get rolling. There’s no cooler scene in golf and perhaps sport than that first tee Friday morning. I have goosebumps just thinking about the last three that I’ve been fortunate enough to witness in person. Get excited. Wait, you already are?! I know, me too.